Any advice for someone conceived through IVF?

Dear Catholic Answers,

I’d really appreciate some advice and support. I’ve read a lot of articles about the church’s position on IVF, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an article giving advice to people conceived through the process, other than telling them that they are just as loved as any other person.

I understand and accept the church’s position on IVF, knowing first-hand the hurt it causes. My parents used IVF to help them conceive, undergoing 3 cycles with 3 embryos each time. 18 years and 9 months later, here I am, the only one of 9 to have survived the process. And I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that I had 8 brothers and sisters, and I almost feel confused as to why I survived when they did not.

I also struggle with how cold my conception was, in a Petri dish, in a lab, created by scientists. Purchased by my parents, like some kind of product. The only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that, even in such awful circumstances, God’s love was there. I pray to the Holy Spirit, reminding myself that He was there at the beginning of my life. It’s always been comforting to know that, no matter the circumstances in which a person is conceived - in a lab, through violence, in lust - God’s love is still present.

I would really appreciate your advice on how to come to terms with how I was conceived, and how to deal with the death of my siblings.

God bless you,


Dear Julie,

You sound like you have come to terms with your situation rather well. The only ones who really bear serious scars are your parents. You and your siblings had no voice in the matter and have clear consciences. All of you continue to be cradled in God’s infinite mercy. No reason to feel strange about being the only one to make it to birth. The Lord determined it. All nine of you belong to Him and are His handiwork.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

P.S. Your question says more than my answer. Thanks for writing!

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